If it’s too cold to make snowballs or there’s not enough snow, kids can still make some with white play dough for winter fun inside the house. Of course, the balls won’t be for throwing but hands stay much warmer. You can mix up a batch using your favorite recipe. The proportions in the video below are just a bit bigger but it shows the process really well. These are what I like to use for a small batch:
1 cup flour 1/2 cup salt
1 cup water 2 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. cream of tartar (I have used Vitamin C or ascorbic acid crystals instead)
Usually the dough is colored with food colors but skip them to make white.
Mix in non-stick saucepan. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat until it all clumps together. Take the dough out, knead and cool.
It’s quick and easy to roll the play dough into a giant snowball but kids can make little ones and try and pick them up with salad tongs. They can also play with all their other cutters and molds. Kitchen tools such as plastic forks and knives are fun for making different marks and designs. Although we can’t roll snow with a rolling pin, kids can roll play dough with one.
Play dough is fun for kids of any age, once they are past trying to eat it. As they play, they are strengthening the small muscles. These are still developing and kids need to practice their fine motor control. Squishing, smooshing, rolling, pinching, and poking play dough give lots of opportunities to do that.
Along with the physical skills, there are mental ones such as problem solving, making choices, planning, concentration, and other thinking skills. Talking about what they are doing and explaining promotes language skills. There is a social aspect as kids share and play with others. Maybe we could say that learning and fun are on a roll?
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